Home' Greymouth Star : August 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, August 26, 2015
China’s central bank cut interest rates
and lowered the amount of reser ves that
banks must hold for the second time in
two months overnight, ratcheting up
support for a stuttering economy and
a plunging stock market that has sent
shockwaves around the globe.
The moves came after Chinese stocks
tumbled again, as investors despaired at
the lack of policy action from Beijing in
response to recent data suggesting the
downturn in the world’s second-largest
economy was deepening.
The People’s Bank of China
(PBOC) said it was cutting the one-
year benchmark bank lending rate
by 25 points to 4.6%, cutting one-
year benchmark deposit rates by the
same amount, and reducing reser ve
requirements by 50 points to 18% for
most big banks.
Major Chinese stock indexes nosedived
more than 7% overnight, hitting their
lowest levels since December, following
a more than 8% plunge yesterday.
The slump had resumed last week
despite Beijing’s efforts to arrest a
30% crash earlier in the summer with
hundreds of billions of dollars of State-
backed share purchases. This time, the
government appeared to be sitting on its
hands until the overnight response, which
aimed more at shoring up economic
fundamentals than underpinning stocks.
“Although this has some elements of
giving comfort to the market, this is
more about giving a real boost to the
real economy so the government can
continue to have its 7% growth rate
fulfilled,” Liu Li-Gang, China economist
at ANZ Bank in Hong Kong, said.
Liu said the reser ves requirement cut
was the most significant element of the
PBOC action, as it would inject 650
billion yuan ($156 billion), into the
economy and ease concerns of a “hard
China, one of the main engines of
the world economy, has overtaken
Greece at the top of the worry list of
global investors, who fret its economy is
growing at a much slower pace than the
official 7% target for 2015.
“Currently, there is still downward
pressure on China’s economic growth,”
the central bank said in a separate
statement. “ There is also relatively big
volatility in global financial markets,
which require more flexible usage of
monetary policy tools.”
German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble said the situation in China
would be discussed by G20 nations.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed
companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen
dropped 7.1% overnight, while the
Shanghai Composite Index fell 7.6%
to close below the psychologically
significant 3000-point level.
Underscoring the panic gripping the
retail investors who dominate China’s
stock markets, all index futures contracts
fell by the maximum 10% daily limit,
pointing to expectations of even deeper
Though the PBOC move came after
domestic markets had closed, stock
markets in Europe jumped, and United
States stock futures were also given a lift.
After the turmoil in China rocked
world equity and commodity markets
yesterday, policymakers elsewhere in
Asia sought to soothe fears about the
broader impact on the global economy.
“I think it’s important that people
don’t hyper ventilate about these types
of things,” Australian Prime Minister
Tony Abbott, whose country is heavily
exposed to China, the biggest consumer
of its commodity exports, said.
“It is not unusual to see stock market
corrections. It is not unusual to see
bubbles burst in particular markets
and for there to be some flow-on
effect in other stock markets, but the
fundamentals are sound. ”
This week’s steep declines have taken
Chinese stocks into negative territory
for the year to date. — Reuters
Mugabe booed in parliament over failing economy
Robert Mugabe has been booed and
heckled by opposition MPs over the
deteriorating economy as he gave
his state of the nation address to
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) MPs overnight questioned
his economic policies, jeering as the
91-year-old delivered a policy speech
which lasted less than half an hour.
When Mugabe — who has
been in power since Zimbabwe’s
independence from Britain in 1980
outlined his government ’s plan to
improve the economy, one MP yelled
at him to admit that “you can’t do
much about it”.
Mugabe presented a 10-point plan
which included boosting agricultural
growth, encouraging private sector
investment and fighting graft.
one opposition member shouted
while another accused Mugabe’s
government of “corruption”.
Another parliamentarian shouted
“ if wishes were horses” while his
other opposition legislator screamed
“you have utterly failed”.
The economy of the southern
African nation has been on a
downward spiral for more than
a decade with slow growth, low
liquidity and high unemployment.
The government has cut its growth
forecasts for 2015 to 1.5%, from
3.2%, mainly due to slow growth in
the agricultural sector.
Many companies have closed,
Amid the heckling Mugabe, who
is known for not brooking dissent,
continued unfazed and read his
speech through to the end.
His ZANU-PF MPs then burst
into a song praising their leader while
the opposition countered singing
“ZANU-PF is rotten”.
It is not the first time Mugabe has
On August 26 in 2008, opposition
MDC deputies roundly booed
the president during a speech to
parliament, to show they did not
recognise his legitimacy following a
flawed presidential vote held earlier
that year. — AFP
Zimbabwe’s President Robert
Mugabe delivers his state of the
nation address to the country’s
parliament in Harare.
A man has shot dead four people “in cold
blood”, including a baby and policeman,
at a gypsy camp in northern France.
Three other people, including the
gunman, were seriously wounded in the
overnight attack, which took place in the
northern town of Roye, about 110km
north of Paris.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve
told reporters three people had been
killed “in cold blood” including a six-
month-old baby, a man and a woman.
A policeman who was badly wounded
in the attack later died of his injuries,
and a three-year-old child and another
policeman were both said to be in serious
The toddler went into cardiac arrest and
has been put under ventilatory support,
local authorities said.
Witnesses said a fight erupted in the
camp and a man, who may have been
drunk, started shooting when police
turned up to investigate.
The gunman was also said to be in
serious condition, they said.
“This is a really tragic case,” Cazeneuve
told reporters, saying the family had
been “decimated by the killer”.
President Francois Hollande and
Prime Minister Manuel Valls expressed
shock over the incident, sending their
condolences to the families of the dead
“My thoughts are with the families,
with the victims and the policeman
killed in the ser vice of France,” Valls said
In a statement released by his office,
Hollande hailed the “courage and
commitment ” of the police officers who
responded to the incident, extending
condolences to the families of those
killed and injured in the attack. — AFP
New South Wales residents have
been forced to flee their homes and
are being warned to stay vigilant
with rising waters expected to flood
parts of the south coast at high tide
later in the day.
The State Emergency Ser vice
had 200 calls for help overnight
and 300 people have been ordered
to evacuate their homes at Sussex
Inlet and St George’s Basin.
Some have taken shelter in an
evacuation centre set up at a nearby
bowls club, an SES spokesman
Flooding is also expected in
Nowra and may cause road closures
and leave some properties isolated.
SES spokesman Phil Campbell
said residents will unlikely be able
to return home, with high tide
expected at 5pm (local time).
The Bureau of Meteorology
is warning of very heavy surf
conditions and coastal erosion for
parts of the Illawara and South
Meanwhile, eyes remain on a
dam that has begun eroding near
The Jerrara Dam showed signs of
a failing wall yesterday morning,
leaving 10 properties in serious
risk and the nearby village of
The SES said 25 properties were
evacuated last night.
If the dam busts it could cause
dangerous flooding to areas
including Mount Brandon Road,
Jerrara Road and Jamberoo Road.
Rain is expected to ease this
afternoon. — AAP
Flood warning as NSW storms ease
PICTURE: Getty Images
The Jerrara dam spills water near in Kiama, Australia. Residents downstream of the dam have been evacuated following the flooding.
The fate of 1404 bottles of rare wine
seized from a private collector under
Pennsylvania’s strict liquor laws hangs on
a judge’s ruling next week on a loophole
that may allow hospital “use” of forfeited
The wine was confiscated in 2014 under
a Pennsylvania law that limits nearly all
alcoholic beverage sales to its chain of
State liquor stores, none of which sells
It was among a cache of 2447 bottles
with an estimated value of at least
$125,000 that Pennsylvania State Police
seized from Arthur Goldman, a lawyer
in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Chester County Hospital in the
Philadelphia suburb of West Chester
filed a court petition on Friday seeking
custody of the wine, which it hopes
to resell for charity under an obscure
provision of State law that allows forfeit
liquor “to be delivered to a hospital for
its use. ”
Goldman, who admitted selling the
wine to private enthusiasts, received a
form of probation aimed at eventually
clearing his record.
State police moved ahead with plans
to destroy the confiscated wine, which
had been placed in an evidence room in
That possibility horrified
enthusiasts and even the Pennsylvania
Liquor Control Board, which urged a
solution that would preser ve the wine
that it said included “rare and hard-to-
A week ago, Goldman reached a
settlement with State police allowing
him to reclaim 1043 bottles of the forfeit
wine. The remaining 1404 bottles are
being sought by the hospital.
Goldman and his lawyers, while
praising the settlement, would not
answer questions about it.
Never before has forfeit liquor been
turned over to a third party, State police
spokesman trooper Adam Reed said
Chester County Judge Edward Griffin
will decide on September 3 whether State
law intended hospital wine donations
to be only for medicinal purposes, or
whether the hospital can legally resell
the bottles for charity. — Reuters
Sumatran rhino Harapan, the only Sumatran rhino in the Western Hemisphere, is fed a
banana at the Cincinnati Zoo in this picture from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The only Sumatran rhinoceros in the United
States will be sent to Indonesia so it can
have a chance to mate, an Ohio zoo famous
for breeding the endangered species said
Eight-year-old Harapan, one of three
Sumatran rhinos born at the Cincinnati Zoo,
will move to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary
later this year, Dr Terri Roth, director of its
Centre for Conser vation and Research of
Endangered Wildlife, said.
The Cincinnati Zoo has had the only
successful captive breeding programme in
the US for the small, hairy species believed
to number only 100 in the wild and nine in
captivity worldwide, according to Roth.
She said the decision to move Harapan
was a difficult one, but the zoo could not
contribute to efforts to breed the species by
hanging on to a lone male.
“ For many years we were hopeful we would
receive a female,” Roth said. “Indonesia has
been clear recently that they never plan to
send another Sumatran rhino out of the
Receiving potential mates from Malaysia,
the only other country with captive Sumatran
rhinos, was not an option, Roth said, since
that country had only infertile females.
In 2007, the Cincinnati zoo’s firstborn male
Sumatran rhino calf, Andalas, was relocated
to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Last year
the only female born at the zoo, Suci, died
Harapan will remain on exhibit at the zoo
as he trains to spend time in a crate for the
journey that still awaits an export permit.
Roth said it would mostly probably travel by
plane, ferry and truck to get to the sanctuary,
a trip that took Andalas nearly 60 hours.
Last Sumatran rhino in US sent home to breed
Fate of rare
Court halts execution
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted
the planned execution today of Bernardo
Tercero, a Nicaraguan man convicted of murder
who human rights groups said had his rights to
a fair trial violated.
The court said overnight lawyers for Tercero,
39, asserted that he was denied due legal
process because the State presented false
testimony at his trial. It stayed his execution
to allow “a trial court to review the merits of
The court did not specify the testimony
it saw as questionable. In a filing before the
court, one of Tercero’s lawyers said a statement
provided by a witness for the prosecution
that implicated Tercero had contained false
Tercero was convicted of killing Houston
school teacher Robert Berger during a robbery
of a dry-cleaning shop in 1997.
There was also a co-defendant who the State
said fled to Mexico. Reports indicate he was
indicted in absentia but has never been arrested
Tercero’s lawyers have argued he had
deficient counsel at the trial and sentencing
and also at every stage of his post-conviction
They have also argued that he may be mentally
ill and not meet legal competency standards to
be subject to execution.
“The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
did the right thing by staying Mr Tercero’s
execution,” Melissa Hooper, a Human Rights
First lawyer who has been seeking the stay,
“Many questions remain in this case, and now
the court will allow at least some of them to
finally be investigated,” she said. — Reuters
shot in French
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